A fund set up by a Hartlepool woman is rapidly closing in on a major milestone.
And today, the people behind the Kay Smith Fund issued a rallying call to the Hartlepool public to help reach £200,000 raised in her memory.
It’s ten years since Kay, from the Dyke House area of town, died after a year-long battle against breast cancer, aged 37.
She created the charity cause herself while she was battling the disease.
Since then, the money raised by the Kay Smith Fund has helped to fund a breakthrough in the early detection of breast cancer.
It has also paid for a child bereavement service based at Hartlepool & District Hospice and Kay’s niece Leaza Cafferkey said: “It is amazing. I am really proud.”
Kay thought a lot about what bereavement does to the rest of the family, especially the young ones, and that is the forte of the hospice’s bereavement service. Children find these things very difficultMick Sumpter
The total raised in Kay’s name now stands at more than £185,000.
Leaza added: “It is very humbling to know that so many people knew about Kay and what she believed in.”
She thanked Mick Sumpter, and John and Bev Rooke, for spearheading the fund’s charity nights which are held every October.
The annual event raises huge amounts for the cause and Leaza said “A massive thanks to those three”.
There was also praise for the many other people who have gone out of their way to back the charity.
“People have climbed Ben Nevis and done the Cleveland Hills walk”, she said. “There are lots of people to praise including all the ones who always come along to the charity do in October.”
Inspirational Kay started the fund to support others going through similar situations to her.
Part of the proceeds helped to support research at the University Hospital of North Tees into the early detection of breast cancer.
It also funds a child bereavement counsellor at the hospice.
Money is still being raised with two significant events on the way shortly.
One is a coast to coast bike ride which is coming soon and the other is the October charity day which will be held on a date yet to be fixed.
Fund trustee Mick Sumpter said Kay would have been “blown away” by the fundraising in her memory, especially with the support for the hospice as she thought a lot about the effect that bereavement would have on children.
“The fund continues and it is still going strong. Kay thought a lot about young people and families and how they felt about bereavement and death.
“She thought a lot about what bereavement does to the rest of the family, especially the young ones, and that is the forte of the hospice’s bereavement service. Children find these things very difficult.”
Leaza urged people to continue to support the fund by sending donations to Pappa Caff’s in Tower Street, Hartlepool.